Playing From The Big Blind

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With Money Already In The Pot, Your Pot Odds Are Improved

The first thing that players think about is the fact that since they posted the big blind, their pot odds are naturally better.

For instance, if someone raises 3 times the big blind, you only have to put in two thirds of that in order to stay in the hand.

While this is definitely a consideration that you want to account for, a lot of players tend to overestimate the value of such odds, and then end up compounding this mistake by either playing their weaker hands too aggressively, or spewing chips in later rounds by not knowing when to fold.

It must be kept in mind that even the best players tend to lose money in this position, and by playing too loose from the blinds, you can very easily compound these losses, especially against better players who know how to effectively punish you for getting too out of line here.

You're Out Of Position Against Almost Everyone

In the big blind, the only player at the table that you have position on in later rounds is the small blind. It's definitely a disadvantage to play out of position, although many players end up playing too passively out of position and accentuate the disadvantage

The advantages of position don't go quite as far as to make their out of position opponents turn into complete nits, although there are plenty of players who do this. We definitely want to play a much more sophisticated game than that out of position, and need to show some aggression from here, although somewhat less than we would in position.

So if you're not comfortable playing out of position from the flop onward, you need to be less eager to get involved from the big blind or from early position. As you improve your skills here, you can play more hands from the blinds, especially against opponents who are more easily exploited.

Against Blind Stealers, Don't Roll Over Too Much

There is a lot of blind stealing that goes on in today's games, and people in late position almost feel entitled to grab the blind that you were forced to post. The first thing you need to look at is the range that the person is on when looking to steal, and if it's frequent enough, you can often either look to play back with a 3 bet, or look to call and play the flop with a likely better hand.

Regardless, while you do want to play more carefully and selectively, just giving up your big blind way too often can also add to your losses by just plain losing it with most hands. We want to be a bit more careful in the big blind, but this doesn't mean we need to be a pushover.

Against Some Players, You Can Take The Action To Them

So if your opponent is full of it most of the time and will also tend to fold to further aggression from the blinds, it does pay to play more aggressively if you can isolate against this player. Since you will be acting last pre-flop, this is an advantage of sorts as you have the best idea of how many players will be in the hand, and usually will know exactly how many.

If your opponent tends to play too tight post flop, especially when faced with a donk bet on the flop, this presents an additional opportunity later in the hand when you get your raise called or decide to call yourself. It's generally a good idea to be aggressive, but against some players just calling is better if they will toss a lot of chips into the pot loosely later, and therefore your profit expectations are higher than just taking it down now.

So play more selectively from the big blind, but at the same time look for any and all opportunities to take advantage of people based upon their weaker play, regardless of whether you're in the blinds or not.

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